An Eico HF-81 integrated amplifier. With restoration, this unassuming circa 1960s component can sound excellent.


    Eico HF-81 rear view showing its EL84 output tubes, generating a mighty 14 watts per channel.


    Separate bass and treble controls for each channel! Photos courtesy of Howard Kneller.


    Who wouldn’t want The Bicentennial “Everything System?” RadioShack catalog, 1976.


    As best as we can figure, this striking circa 1960s ad says, “plays on quality.” Or something like that.


    You have to hand it to them – Motorola sure had style in 1958.


    Howard Kneller’s audiophile adventures are documented on YouTube (The Listening Chair with Howard Kneller) and Instagram (@howardkneller). His art and photography can be found on Instagram (@howardkneller). He also posts a bit of everything on Facebook (@howardkneller).

    5 comments on “Eico Eico”

    1. Good morning Frank!
      When I went to work for Dirrect TV some 16 years ago, one of my coworkers done something that I didn’t expect her to do.
      She gave me a vintage Ico ST-40 integrated amplifier.
      It needed some work to get it going again, but I was up to the task.
      An old friend of mine, helped me do a good deal of the work that needed to be done to get it going again.
      He and I replaced all the old caps it had in it.
      But when it came to taking stock of checking out and replacing all the tubes it had in it, I done that part of it, all by myself.
      These are all the tubes it had in it.
      V1. 12EF7.
      V2. 12EF7.
      V3. 12AX7.
      V4. 12AX7.
      V5. GZ34.
      V6. 12AX7.
      V7. 12AX7.
      V8. 7591.
      V9. 7591.
      V10. 7591.
      V11. 7591.
      By the time we got thru restoring that ST-40, we tested it.
      It was rated at 20watts per channel, from 4 to 16 ohms.
      We hooked it up to an old pare of JBL speakers and a Sherwood 5disc CD changer.
      Boy the grate sound that came from it.
      But the power output of the amp, output 21.5watts per channel.
      What do you say about this?

    2. If Arthur Fiedler recommends it must be good. If only the image had enough resolution to read what he said.
      BTW, my first hifi amp was an Eico HF 20 integrated. Hand me down from my dad also included Sherwood AM/FM tuner, Channel Master open reel, Miracord record changer, and University 8” Coaxial corner speaker. Wish I still had the HF 20.

    3. Arthur said “Making good music listening affordable to young people is one of the things Radio Shack does well. Perhaps better than anyone.”

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